In the story of travels by Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, there is a mo‘olelo in which the goddess Hi‘iaka watches young wahine diving into the sea on the ‘Ewa coast, all of them wearing garlands of bright yellow ‘ilima flowers, their lei dazzling against the crystal blue ocean. The hardy indigenous shrub is characterized by silvery heart-shaped leaves and shiny dime-sized blossoms. It belongs to the hibiscus family and grows wild in hot, dry environments. It was the flower of choice for leis by ali‘i, or Hawaiian Royalty, but these flower adornments took nearly 500-1000 flowers to complete a single lei strand. The five-petaled variety was said to be a favorite of Queen Emma and would often be seen to be the preferred flower of the Kamehameha butterfly. Other varieties of ‘ilima were used as a source of medicine by ‘ōiwi to cure general debility, womb disorders, and asthma.
100% rayon - 70"x43"